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Monday, September 22, 2014

Suspect charged after pursuit and 12-hour manhunt

Posted: September 22, 2014 - 4:56am
Updated: September 24, 2014 - 3:28pm

Suspect charged: 

Richard D. Bird, 33
Johnson County Sheriff's Office booking photo
The Johnson County District Attorney's Office has formally charged Richard Dean Bird, 33, of Belton, Missouri with attempted first-degree murder and one count of misdemeanor theft. The charges follow a nearly 12-hour manhunt, sparked by a vehicle pursuit with shots fired at Johnson County Deputies.

Bird is being held on a $1,000,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 2nd.

Additional details regarding his alleged crimes can be found in the report below.

Updated report:

Photo of man the Sheriff's Office is calling a "person of interest"
Click image to view larger
At 1:19 p.m. Monday the Johnson County Sheriff's Office shared on Twitter that the "person of interest from the photo has been peacefully apprehended." Link to view tweet.

No other details were offered.

A news release was sent out before 4 p.m., offering only vague information, which had already been released to anyone who had spoken to the public information officer.

Just before 5 p.m. Monday, again the Johnson County Sheriff's Office took to Twitter to announce that "no additional suspects are being sought & no weapons are unaccounted for." Link to view tweet.

Booking logs show a 33-year-old, Belton, Missouri man was arrested by the Sheriff's Office at 12:35 p.m. Monday. He is being held without bond and faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder. His first appearance in court is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Operation 100 News is not releasing his name, as he has not been formally charged. Again, Operation 100 News sources have confirmed that this is the man deputies were looking for.

There has also been no further information released regarding the man that ran from the second stolen truck and trailer near 119th Street and Mission Road in Leawood. That man still remains at large and no information regarding his description has been released, other than he might be barefoot.

Operation 100 News has learned from a credible source that both of this morning's incidents were part of an operation involving "bait trailers."

Law enforcement officers have been working for months to stem the theft of trailers and other equipment from construction sites and agricultural areas in southern Johnson County. Both trailers were under surveillance according to my source.

Report suspicious activity inside red area
Suspect vehicle found inside yellow area
Click map to view larger
Johnson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Master Deputy Jill Koch says deputies responded on a reported theft in progress from a construction site around 12:45 a.m..

Again, reliable sources have confirmed to Operation 100 News that the trailers were under surveillance by the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies pursued a black Ford Ranger pickup truck pulling a trailer, that was seen leaving the construction site, westbound on 191st Street towards Mission Road.

My sources have confirmed, the driver of the truck fired at least 10 shots from a "long rifle" at deputies during the vehicle pursuit. No deputies were injured.

Later in the morning, crime scene investigators from the Sheriff's Office collected spent casings along and on the roadway where the shots were fired. At least 10, .223 caliber casings were recovered according to Operation 100 News sources.

Deputies continued to pursue the truck into a neighborhood which they knew to be a dead end street. The truck was found abandoned a short time later on 177th Terrace, just east of Rosewood Street, in Aubry Township. The neighborhood is located just to the southeast of 175th Street and Nall.

As additional deputies and officers from across the county arrived, a large perimeter was set up around the heavily wooded area. Kansas City, Missouri Police sent their helicopter over to assist in the search and a Leawood police K-9 searched on the ground.

My sources have confirmed that deputies located a backpack which contained loaded magazines for the rifle that was used to fire on the pursuing deputies.

Officers and deputies conducted extensive searches of the wooded area and have not been able to locate the man. He is believed to be armed and should be considered dangerous. The Sheriff's Office has not released any information regarding the suspect, they only say that their suspect is a man.

Deputy Koch asks that anyone in the area from Metcalf east to State Line and between 159th Street to 199th Street remain extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to the Sheriff's Office by calling 913-782-0720.

Deputies searched until around 11:15 a.m. Monday before calling off the formal search. The Sheriff's Office said on Twitter that they would have extra patrols in the area. There has not been an official news release sent out to the media.

Union Pacific railroad temporarily stopped all rail traffic in the area to prevent the suspect from escaping the perimeter. Rail traffic has since been allowed to continue.

K-9 units were brought in from several surrounding jurisdictions including the Miami County Sheriff's Office, Spring Hill Police Department and Overland Park Police Department.

Officers from as far away as Shawnee and Lenexa held positions during the early-morning searches.

Second pursuit and manhunt

Around 1:40 a.m. Cass County, Missouri deputies reported being involved in pursuit that started near 177th Street and S. Holmes Road. That pursuit involved a white Ford pickup truck pulling a trailer and led Cass County deputies across the state line and into Johnson County on 175th Street. The pursuit turned north on Mission Road with speeds between 50-70 miles per hour. A nearby Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper joined the pursuit.

As the pursuit continued north on Mission Road an officer was able to get spike strips to hit the tires of the trailer. All of the trailer's tires quickly deflated and the driver continued to drag the trailer behind him.

A Leawood Police patrol vehicle was struck by the swaying trailer near the intersection of 145th Street and Mission Road. The officer was not in the vehicle when it was struck and was not injured. The axle of the trailer fell off near 127th and Mission Road. The driver continued to drag the trailer's frame behind the truck.

The pursuit continued to the area of 119th Street and Mission Road where the truck became stuck in the parking lot at the Church of the Nativity, after the trailer flipped. The driver ran into a neighborhood just north of the church. A Shawnee Police K-9 unit had been monitoring the pursuit and was quickly in the area to assist with the second manhunt.

Officers from Leawood and Overland Park assisted Cass County Deputies with setting a perimeter for the K-9 to search. The suspect remains at large and no description has been released.

Deputy Koch says she does not believe the two pursuits are related. Calls to the Leawood Police Department have not been returned.

Operation 100 News was the first and only media outlet reporting any details of these events until 3:30 a.m.. The first pursuit was before 1 a.m.. Check back with Operation 100 News on this blog and on Twitter for the latest details as they become available. Remember where you heard this news first, Operation 100 News, reporting the news to the public as it breaks.

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